2024 Worlds Recap: Shelton Shines in Canada's 4-1 Win Over Finland

China claims big shootout win, Germany dominates Denmark, and Canada wins big on the second day of Worlds.

2024 Worlds Recap: Shelton Shines in Canada's 4-1 Win Over Finland
Julia Gosling scores her first goal for Team Canada in the second period vs. Finland. Photo courtesy of the IIHF.

China beats Japan, 3-2, in a shootout

Leighann Strollo

In their first game at this level since 2009, China needed a big win to set the tone for the tournament and they did just that with a shootout victory over Japan on Thursday.

Japan outshot China 52-17 in regulation and the overtime period before heading to a shootout where Yingying Guan sealed the deal for Team China's first win. Guan also scored to tie the game up late in the third period proving to be a standout player in pressure situations for China already.

Germany beats Denmark, 5-1

Michelle Jay

Germany was dominant in their opening game of the 2024 tournament, rolling over Denmark in a Group B match up. Germany peppered Danish goaltender Emma-Sofie Nordstrom for 44 shots and found the net in all strengths. They opened scoring with a shorthanded goal by Luisa Welcke off her twin sister Lilli Welcke drive to the net. Their second goal was a power play goal by Laura Kluge. Ronja Hark and Jule Schiefer joined the fun with an even strength goals for the third and fourth goal, respectively.

Denmark wasn't going to be shutout though. While on the power play, with Nordstrom pulled for the extra skater, Nicoline Jensen found the back of the net. They kept Nordstrom out after the ensuing faceoff and German Emily Nix scored a long empty net to seal the game.

Denmark had flashes of greatness - outside of Nordstrom who has faced over 80 shots in their two games - but they couldn't get much momentum going as they took seven penalties. Nordstrom is keeping them in games, but she needs a lot of help (from more than the crossbar) if Denmark wants to win a game this tournament.

Canada beats Finland, 4-1

Leighann Strollo

In what would be their 100th win at the Women's World Championship tournament, Team Canada kept their foot on the gas, steadily beating a Finnish team who respectably stayed in it for most of the game. It was Canada's opening game, while Finland was shutout, 4-0 by Czechia on Wednesday.

The biggest question headed into the game was if we would see Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin after an injury sustained in a PWHL Montreal game about a month ago. In a shock to no one, Poulin was in the lineup however was promised to see limited ice time in Canada's first game of the tournament.

Petra Nieminen took the game's first penalty for interference, giving the Canadians a power play opportunity but Finland was able to kill off the penalty. It wouldn't be long before Team Canada struck though. Brianne Jenner opened the scoring with a goal assisted by Jamie Lee Rattray and Ella Shelton.

At 12:45, Jocelyne Larocque and Susanna Tapani took offsetting roughing penalties after some pushing and shoving in front of the Canadian net. Canada earned the next power play after a cross-checking call on Nelli Laitinen. Just as that penalty expired, Canada's Larocque took her second penalty of the game, this time for tripping.

That penalty lasted into the second frame but Canada killed it off before scoring again to make it 2-0. Emma Maltais scored with the help of Natalie Spooner and Ella Shelton, who collected her second assist of the night.

Less than three minutes later, Finland got on the board for the first time with a goal from Petra Nieminen assisted by Michelle Karvinen and Susanna Tapani.

Canada's Blayre Turnbull and Kristin O'Neill took the game's next two penalties for hooking and high sticking just four minutes apart but Finland could not score on the power play.

With less than a minute to go in the period, Julia Gosling scored to extend Canada's lead to 3-1. This wass Gosling's first goal for Team Canada in her debut game for the senior team.

Things calmed down in the third period as both teams went back and forth with no goals or penalties to show for it. With just under five minutes to go, Finland pulled Sanni Ahola from net in favor of the extra skater.

She returned to the goal when Noora Tulus took the period's first penalty for slashing. Ella Shelton, who had two assists already on the night, capitalized on the power play with a goal assisted by Ashton Bell.

With less than a minute to go in regulation, Finland got a sliver of a chance as Jaime Bourbonnais and Jocelyne Larocque took back-to-back penalties for hooking and roughing respectively.

Finland had a few shots on net but time expired before they could get any momentum going and ultimately dropped their second game of the tournament to Canada, 4-1.

Canada outshot Finland 24-20 in what was a pretty even matchup aside from success in finding the back of the net. Finland proved they could still keep up with the top teams in the world despite their relegation last year and return to Group A this year.

Ann-Renee Desbiens was named Canada's player of the game, which doesn't come as a shock as she skillfully kept the Canadians in it in the close battles where Finland was able to put quality shots on net.

Canada's next game will be against Switzerland on Friday, April 5 at 3 p.m. while Finland will get the day off and return to play on Saturday, April 6 against The United States at 7 p.m.